MORGANTOWN, WV – Five and a half years ago, Stacy Graham decided to begin taking school seriously.
She began the Medical Billing and Coding Program, now Medical Office Management, at West Virginia Junior College in Morgantown in August 2007.
“I didn’t take high school seriously in high school,” Stacy said. “I went to school to socialize. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do.”
The high school guidance counselor suggested the WVJC.
“I got more structure and buckled down,” Stacy said. “I (showed up at the WVJC) everyday. I made good grades. I excelled here and now I excel at WVU.”
Stacy said her dedication to school began when she realized that she was paying for her education. Also, she understood that with an 18-month program, missing one day would be like missing a week at most four-year universities.
In December 2008, she graduated from WVJC and began working toward a double major in sociology and psychology at West Virginia University. Stacy is planning to graduate in August and to begin working toward her Master of Science Degree this fall.
Following graduation from the WVJC, Stacy began working at Atlas Chiropractic, a small office that kept her from feeling overwhelmed in her first job. She said the chiropractor, Clare McDaniel, was a great influence and a great inspiration.
“The girl who trained me was a great mentor with teaching me things about the office that I share with my class now,” Stacy said.
In January, Stacy began teaching medical billing and coding classes at the WVJC.
As an instructor, Stacy hopes that students will place the same importance on attendance as she did.
“When you start your career, employers are not going to care why you’re late. You can’t be late,” Stacy said. “And you have to show up.”
She encourages her students to show respect in the office.
“Ask questions. Double check yourself. Talk to patients,” Stacy said. “Be respectful of the patients, and make small talk with them. You’re representing the doctor and the office. You make the atmosphere.”
She added that employees in the Medical Office Management field should want to make the patient feel warm and welcomed. Depending on the type of office, it could be a difficult day for the patient.
Stacy lives in Reedsville, W.Va., and is planning a May 2013 wedding where she’ll say, “I do,” to her fiancé, Jordon.
“I wouldn’t be able to do everything I do now without him,” she said. “He’s wonderful, and he helps. I get to work on my career, and he’s been great support system. Having support through school is a big factor.”
Stacy encourages the students to wake up in the morning and come to class.
“In 18 months, when you start your career, you’ll notice a significant difference, and it will all be worth it,” she said.
For more information on graduation rates, median debt of students who have completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at www.wvjc.edu/morgantown-programs. Our programs are equal opportunity employer/programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.